Minister Cliff Cullen says a "misinformation campaign" has taken hold of the public's opinion on Bill 64 but the leader of the Manitoba School Boards Association disagrees.
Cullen says the Manitoba Teachers' Society, the NDP, and the Manitoba School Boards Association have a misleading political campaign against the Conservative government's education changes.
"Unfortunately the purpose of their campaign is to instill fear and anxiety in parents and educators," Cullen says.
The campaign is being led by the two major groups representing Manitoban schools, whom Cullen calls a minority. When asked who was in support of Bill 64, Cullen did not say but guesses the majority of Manitobans are in support of the bill.
The minister is calling teachers experts but says they are being driven by political agenda.
"This is that wake-up call for Manitobans to take notice, to be clear on what is in Bill 64 and what we are trying to accomplish through our strategy," Cullen says. "Our position as the government is to create constructive dialogue with parents, frontline teachers, staff, educational experts, community leaders, visible minority Indigenous people, and Manitobans who want to improve our school system and the lives of our students."
Alan Campbell, President of Manitoba School Boards Association took to Twitter saying "Couldn't agree more Minister @CliffCullenMLA, Manitobans need a wake-up call on Bill 64, and your presser today certainly helps our cause. Piling fiction on top of fiction is exactly why Manitobans are outraged and see right through it."
Couldn't agree more Minister @CliffCullenMLA, Manitobans need a wake-up call on Bill 64, and your presser today certainly helps our cause. Piling fiction on top of fiction is exactly why Manitobans are outraged and see right through it. https://t.co/ej2gayQ3Ad @MBSchoolBoards— Alan M Campbell (@Alan_M_Campbell) June 14, 2021
Cullen says the Manitoba Teacher's Society has aligned itself with the Manitoba Federation of Labour who supports the NDP.
The Minister says the biggest piece of misinformation the Manitoba Teacher's Society has said is that there will be classroom disruptions, which he says is not their intent. To combat the "misinformation campaign" they have created a Fact vs Fiction statement.
"We are taking on the challenge. I get it, change can be difficult, and certainly, we want to engage with Manitobans in this journey. We need our educators, who are the experts in this conversation. I am just disappointed we have union bosses, the NDP, trying to shut down that discussion," Cullen says.
Disappointed with the press conference, NDP leader Wab Kinew is calling Cullen's conference inappropriate.
"Are the PCs using government resources to attack the NDP and the Manitoba Teacher’s Society? So you’ve got money for that but not for schools," Kinew says.